Bruges is a very interesting historical city with UNESCO status. Dine in the local bars and drink a variety of Belgian beers
The city of Bruges is quaint with cobbled squares and numerous museums and places of interest. The styles of architecture is a thing to see and the ornate buildings around the main Market Square look like something from a fairy tale with their castle-like frontages. There are numerous interesting things hidden away in the side streets such as quaint souvenir shops for presents, also a homemade biscuit shop where you can mix and match your choice! Obtain a city guide and do a bit of exploring on foot. Climb to the top of The Belfry to enjoy views across Bruges. Wednesday mornings is Market Day in the main Market Square, browse a selection of stalls selling fruit and vegetables, hot chicken and local cheeses, also many of the locals take advantage of this market which offers a good choice of fresh produce.
Places of Interest
Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood and see the treasures on show within which includes a cask with precious stones which must be priceless. Also very interesting was the Chocolate Museum,Choco-Story Wijnzakstraat 2 (Sint-Jansplein) 8000 Bruges Tel : 050/61.22.37 Email: email@example.com where you can learn about the story of the discovery of chocolate through the centuries through to the present day. Don't miss the giant egg on display in the staircase as you go up the floors in the Museum. Don't miss the demonstration at the end of the museum of the way praline chocolates are made and get free sample to taste. Browse in the museum shop to buy presents for the people back home. Visit the last remaining working brewery in Bruges and Brewery Tour at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan Walplein 26 B - 8000 Bruges Phone +32 50 44 42 22 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and sample the Zot Belgian Beer!! Very interesting was the Tour of the Brewery and detailed explanation of how the local beer is made. There is also a nice Cafe within the Brewery building where you can have some lunch.
There is also a Windmill Museum in Bruges, Sint Janshuysmolen Mill built in 1770, along the canal path, but it is only open May to September each year but it is worth a visit just to get a photograph or two if you are visiting out of season. Canal boat rides are also available in the Summer season as Bruges is also known as "The Venice of the North", and this is a good opportunity to get more photographs of the sights from different angles as you travel around on the canal boats.
Bars, Local Food and Souvenirs
Bierbrasserie Cambrinus Philipstockstraat 19, 8000 Brugge Tel: 050/33 23 28 e-mail email@example.com is a very good bar and restaurant with a huge selection of Belgian Beers with a menu like a telephone directory to choose from! The food is also very good, you get loads for your money try the spaghetti bolognaise you get huge plateful and very cheap at £8 per dish, the and the atmosphere is very friendly at this bar, we stayed most of the evening and enjoyed sampling the endless supply of Belgian beers.
Off the main Market Square there are plenty of side street shops that sell delicious Belgian waffles with various toppings for you to sample if you require a snack. Very popular are the numerous lace shops in Bruges, where you can buy anything from lace tablecloths and napkins to lace-finished aprons and cushion covers, these are a nice hand-made souvenir to remind you of your visit to Bruges.
A very good hotel where we stayed is the Hotel ter Reien (Langestraat 1, B-8000 Bruges) where we were given a canal-side room and very good continental breakfast was provided every morning in the Breakfast Room at the rear of the hotel. There are numerous restaurants in walking distance to the hotel, so you have a good selection in the immediate local area for your evening meal as we had Bed and Breakfast only at the hotel. If you go to this hotel don't forget to ask for your Discount Voucher because you get 10% off your next visit and it can also be used by family and friends.
Bruges is easily reached by Eurostar from London to Brussels, then by a connecting fast train to Bruges. Eurostar tickets are valid on all Belgian stations. Eurostar services run regularly from London St. Pancras and you can connect with train services from the North of England which terminate at St. Pancras station. I advise booking your tickets for UK trains well in advance to take full advantage of any discounts which may be available.
It is very easy to get around the city on the local bus service and this connects with the trains as the Bus Station is next to the Rail Station, and many cars and vans are allowed only in certain parking zones in the old part of the city, so you could hire a horse and carriage and go for a scenic drive around the old city to take things at a slower pace. The horses are very well looked after and even have a way of keeping the mess from going on the streets as they go along!! Another of the special Belgian delicacies are the potato fries from the kiosks in the main Market Square and they have a variety of sauces such as tomato ketchup and mayonnaise, also very popular are moule (Mussels) and chips which is a local dish to try at most restaurants in the city.
Would love to return soon!